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Mazda MX5 MK1 Restoration

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

The latest project to be completed is a Mk1 MX5 which has undergone an full restoration over a period of almost a year. The car has been extensively upgraded with track days and hill climbs in mind and and now benefits from a turbo charger which boosts the engines power to 315 BHP and 350ftlbs of torque.

The car was recovered from in a field on Cornwall where it had sat for almost 10 years and had suffered with corrosion in the usual places. The rear sills where completely rebuilt along with the inner arches and front sills. A new battery tray was fabricated as well as new chassis rails out of 3mm plate to stiffen the chassis. Once all rust repairs where completed the underside was stripped, etch primed and coated in Raptor underseal and the topside was coated with blue tinted Raptor.

Once the underside was completed the car was resprayed in the original Mariner blue including the engine bay. The engine bay was also extensively 'tidied' so all wiring is tucked and hidden away and any unnecessary items removed.

All the suspension and running gear was removed and sent to be powder coated in gloss black. It was then reassembled with new OEM hardware and upgraded polybushes. The differential was replaced with an upgraded 3.6 ratio unit from a later model along with a 6 speed gearbox to handle the increase in power.

The engine was completely rebuilt. The block was re-bored to accept low compression turbo pistons from Weisco, The flywheel was lightend and then the rotating assembly was balanced. forged connecting rods, The main bearing caps were line honed for ARP main studs and forged connecting rods were fitted. and head studs, The stock head bolts were replaced with ARP studs and a cometic head gasket was used to ensure the head didn't lift under high boost. A bounadry oil pump was fitted with billet gears along with a Fluidampr to minimize engine harmonics. The head was lightly polished and ported and fully rebuilt.

To utilise a larger aftermarket throttle body i needed a 1.8 intake manifold, however this doesn't fit onto a 1.6 as it's a shorter engine and the port spacing is different. So i cut the top half off a 1.8 intake manifold and the bottom section from a 1.6, milled the two faces flat and welded them together. Giving me a larger intake manifold but retaining the 1.6 port spacing and injector mounting locations.

To increase the cars performance a Garrett GT2860RS turbocharger was added with a custom made stainless tubular exhaust manifold. To get the most from the turbocharger and to aid spooling a custom 3" stainless turbo back exhaust system was fabricated with V band clamps to make removal and fitting easier. To support the turbo Bosch EV14 injectors were fitted, a Walbro fuel pump, Megasquirt stand alone ECU, Mishimoto intercooler, custom 2.75" aluminium intercooler piping, variable TPS for launch control and flat foot shifting, HKS blow off valve, Skuzzle Motorsport stage 1 Clutch, IL Motorsports coolant reroute, oil cooler and AEM gauges.

To cope with the performance increase bigger brakes from the 1.8 were fitted with Skuzzle Motorsport braided lines and Mintex racing pads as well as all calipers being blasted. painted and completely rebuilt. HSD fully adjustable coilovers were also fitted, front and rear strut braces, Whiteline racing adjustable anti roll bars and an IL Motorsport rear subframe brace. Front fender braces where fabricated from 2mm oval tubing, fully tig welded and painted in 2k gloss black, these drastically increase chassis stiffness and will soon be available to buy. A custom rear jacking bar and tow points was also fabricated as well as a front subframe brace.

A 5 Race roll was fitted to increase safety and further stiffen the chassis. Bucket seats where also fitted with Sparco harnesses and a custom passenger seat mount that unlike most mounting solutions retains the stock runners.

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